10 Essential Tips for Writing eCommerce Product Listings

March 21, 2018 Seller's Choice Collaborator


10 Essential Tips for Writing eCommerce Product Listings

One of the simplest ways to distinguish yourself from your competitors is to write a killer product listing. Your competition is going to just describe their product to the customer, whereas you are going to sell your product to the customer.

Here are 10 tips that will help you write an eCommerce product listing that will stand out from the crowd and get your products sold:

1) Define Your Tone

Before you get started, ask yourself a few questions. First, who are you selling to? Obviously, if your target audience is teenage girls, you are not going to use the same tone you would for males over 30.

Next, define who you are, and who you are not. Do not be afraid to show personality in your listing. All too often people are afraid to include character, for fear that it might make them appear “unprofessional”, but showing your buyers who you are is never a bad thing. Don’t just tell them that you are reliable and have great customer service, instead, use language that shows them you care about their business and that they are important to you. Your voice and your authority when it comes to your products will remain consistent, but your tone can, and should, change depending on who you are targeting and where the listing will appear.

2) Create a List of Features

Sit down and create a list of all your products’ features. Features are facts about your products. Be thorough. This list should include all the things that make your product great. Is it made from durable material? Does it employ the latest technology? Put these sorts of things on the list.

10 Essential Tips for Writing eCommerce Product Listings

3) Turn Your Features Into Benefits

Now that you have your list of features, turn them into benefits. Sure, customers want to know the features and specs of your product, but more importantly, they want to know how it will improve their lives. That durable material could actually mean “rugged enough to handle your adventurous lifestyle.” Write your features as being advantageous or as solutions to a potential problem. This type of phrasing and positive framing will separate you from your competitors. Specs are important, but they aren’t particularly memorable.

4) Be Imaginative

Don’t be afraid to step outside the box. You do not have to follow industry best practices to the letter. Many platforms have rules and regulations that you must adhere to but that does not mean you have to be dry. And when writing listings for your own site, you can be as creative as you choose. One of the best ways to sell an item is to help the customer imagine themselves using the item. Being an e-Commerce site, your potential buyers do not have the opportunity to hold your product in their hands. They can’t touch and feel it, or try it on. You have to do this for them. Paint a picture for them in your description. If you’re selling coffee mugs, help your buyer imagine a wet and rainy Sunday morning, curled up with a book and a warm cup of tea in their hands. Give them a scenario in which they can picture themselves with your product.

5) Use Active Language

While it is important to describe your product and use adjectives, do not forget to use verbs. Verbs can shorten your descriptions and make them clearer and more precise. They are action words that can make your description more compelling and appealing to your readers. Your adjectives should be sensory, allowing your customer to “feel” the product, your verbs should allow the customer “utilize” the product.

6) Eliminate Guilt

People often feel bad about spending money. Before they even checkout, they may be waffling on whether or not they should do it. This is especially true if they are looking at an item for themselves. Use your listing to eliminate some of this guilt. Describe your product as essential, make it sound exclusive but not frivolous. If you are offering a discount, emphasize that. Are you selling the product at a better price than your competitors? Make sure your buyer understands that they are getting a bargain from you. Highlight multiple features and make it clear that buying a quality product now, will save them money in the long run.

7) Make Your Listing Scannable

We live in an age of short attention spans. In order to keep your buyer’s attention, you need to get the point and get to it fast. Few people read every word on a website, the majority simply scan. To grab, and hold your buyer’s attention, you need to make your text stand out.

Bullet points are a great way to highlight the main features, specs, and benefits. Using subheadings you can identify key benefits, while the text below them will provide more details. Images and video will give your customer an immediate sense of the product while using a larger font to emphasize a point will draw the reader’s eye to that point.

10 Essential Tips for Writing eCommerce Product Listings

8) Remember to Optimize for Search Engines

A lot of attention is paid to optimizing Amazon product listings and with good reason. Amazon is the go-to for most online shoppers. But don’t forget that people will also find your site, and your product, while using search engines. When writing your listing, think of the language your potential buyer might use and include that in your text. This language is what they will use when starting a Google search. When possible, use your keywords in the title, the subheadings, and the body of your description. You can also optimize your images by using keywords in the file name, image description, and alt tags.

Keywords are vital to optimizing your listing, but do not go overboard. You still need to produce readable text that makes sense to your audience. A string of keywords will not sell your product.

9) Write a Draft, Then Edit That Draft

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Write a draft of your listing. Then edit the draft. Editing is more than just proofreading and correcting your spelling. Go over your list of features to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Make sure your best feature is at the top of the list and the least significant one is at the bottom. 

Read your writing out loud. Do you stumble anywhere? If you are tripping over words, it is likely your customer will do the same. Clean this up and shorten sentences when possible. 

Take out any generic phrases and instead be specific. For example, everyone offers “excellent customer service,” but you will “respond to your questions within 24 hours.” 

10) Use Customer Reviews

Customer reviews tell buyers a lot about your company. If someone is unsure about buying your product, they often use the experience of other customers to help them decide. Include positive reviews on your eCommerce site and encourage new buyers to offer testimonials and reviews if they are satisfied with their experience. When it comes to other platforms, like Amazon, engage with any negative reviews. Reach out to any unsatisfied customers and try to make things right. After you’ve done this, you can ask the customer to amend their review or remove it completely. If someone refuses your offer, publicly respond to the review with the actions you were willing to take to correct the situation. This will give customers the confidence they need to choose you over one of your competitors.

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